Husky Veteran: Meet the only custom-built Husqvarna 701 Vitpilen in South Africa
Reader Gerick Mouton is no stranger to Wheels24 and if there's one thing we know about him is that he is a petrolhead of note, especially one who loves modifications and making his vehicles stand out from the crowd.
In 2010 Mouton sent us a reader review of his supercharged RS4. Then in 2016 we featured his stunning 'shapeshifter' R8 with APR modifications, and earlier in July 2018, he showed off the world's most insane RS6 build right here at home in South Africa which has become a worldwide phenomenon. I think it's safe to say he's a mega Audi fan, right?
Although, this isn't Mouton's first custom bike build. He is a man who likes setting trends, so his Ducati Diavel Diesel was also the first custom build to be done globally.
Mouton tells us his interesting story of his custom-built Husqvarna 701 Vitpilen:
I first saw the new Husqvarna 701 Vitpilen at the South Africa Bike Festival at Kyalami in May this year. I liked the overall look of the bike and the fact that it was "ready" for customization.
I ordered the 701 Vitpilen through Holeshot Motorcycles in Boksburg and took delivery of the bike in July 2018. It was then delivered straight to RACE! to start the project.
A little Husqvarna history
The brief was to bring back some of the heritage of the Husqvarna brand. I did some research prior to the delivery of the bike and discovered that Husqvarna was established in 1689, in a town called Husqvarna in Sweden when a Swedish King decided to command a weapons factory to produce muskets.
A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smoothbore long gun that appeared in early 16th century Europe, at first as a heavier variant of the arquebus, capable of penetrating heavy armour. In 1872 the same weapons factory decided to produce kitchen appliances and sewing machines made of cast iron. In 1896 Husqvarna included bicycles into its product rage.
Oldest uninterrupted motorcycle manufacturer
In 1903 Husqvarna’s first motorcycle was unveiled - a "motorised bicycle". Did you know that Husqvarna is the oldest motorcycle manufacturer with uninterrupted production?!
During the 1900s Husqvarna developed various motorcycles and won many races including enduro series in Europe. In over 50 years of racing and with more than 82 world titles so far, the legendary tale of Husqvarna continues.
In 2016 and 2017, Husqvarna continued to break new ground with record sales and growth. The Vitpilen (White Arrow) 401 and 701 production models were presented to the world, while the Vitpilen 701 concept revealed in 2015 made significant strides towards a full production model - reaffirming Husqvarna Motorcycles' return to the street which it did in 2018.
Given all the history and heritage of the brand, I decided to go with a military style café racer which will fit well with the fact that the brand started as a weapons factory in 1689. The logo on the tank is the original Husqvarna logo from back in 1689.
I decided to chop the entire back-end and to open up the rear to look more streamline. With small but subtle yellow details of the 701 below the rear end, decals on the wheels, the official logo on the radiator and a pin stripe between the tank and the seat. Then, the first fully customized 701 Vitpilen in the African continent was born. A matte green wrap completes the military look with 12 gauge shotgun shell details rounding of the frontend.
We tossed the mirrors and chopped the exhaust and gave it an old school heat wrap. The rear indicators were integrated into the rear taillight with the front substituted by smaller LEDs.
The front light received a yellow film with a grid that illustrates a rifle sight. But the best was the entire air box which we cutout on the sides and design and integrated 2 x red cone filters. We tossed the slick tires and replaced them with semi-slicks to give you that comfort of going off-road (should you need to). Other than that we blacked out everything else we could find!
693cc liquid-cooled single cylinder
75hp at 8500 rpm and 72Nm of torque at 6750rpm
Braking comes from a 320mm disc up front mated to a Brembo four-piston, radially-mounted caliper
The rear gets a 240mm disc and Brembo single-piston floating caliper
Two-channel Bosch 9+ ABS system
The entire team at RACE! has been amazing for their professionalism and quality of work. Special thanks to Corne Swart and Ashlay Sauren for their dedication and belief in my design.
Follow Gerick Mouton on Instagram for more custom build here.